Living On the Edge Without the Added Stress

Greetings, dear readers!

Last week, I asked y’all to give me blog post ideas, and one of you requested organizational ideas!

So, here it goes…

As a dual enrolling highschool student who juggles 5 classes, manages two part-time jobs, and tutors, counsels, authors, and edits in her spare time while also somehow managing to fail miserably at maintaining a blog, I can definitely relate to the definition of “stressfully busy” that many people slap onto their lives nowadays.

So, how do I, as the daughter-sister-friend-counselor-author-editor-student-tutor-coworker-employee-teenager-highschooler-college person juggle my life?

Well, simply put, I don’t.

Hence the stress.

BUUUUUUT

I do have a lot — and I mean a lot — of handy-dandy organization ideas just for you.

Oh, because, ya know, sleep doesn’t exist where I’m from and I am definitely NOT writing this to you at 11:00 at night…

Such. Amazing. Time. Management. Skills.

Aaannnyyywwwaaayyy, juggling. Or organization. Or planning. Or having a stress-free-life — whatever you wanna call it — this is how I do it.

Below, I am going to summarize a few nifty ways I keep my overflowing life organized.

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1.) Evernote
Evernote is an amazing app for making lists. I have been using it for a couple years now and being able to share the lists and sync the app on so many different devices is awesome because it is not Apple or Android specific.

2.) Cozi
My mom actually discovered this app, but in the couple weeks that we have been using it, we have found it super helpful in coordinating schedules. In a family of three people who need to be able to synchronize schedules, I can only imagine how hectic it must be for families with even 1 or 2 more people, much less the families I know of who have upwards of 6 people. Cozi is the perfect family scheduling app. One member of the family (preferably a parent) makes a “household” in the app where he adds all the additional emails of the other family members and creates a password that they all share. Anyone who has access can then add/delete/edit items on the calendar to keep it updated. This keeps all members of the family up-to-date and in sync with everyone’s busy schedules and comes in super handy when scheduling family outings.

3.) Color-Coating
Color-coating is my go-to in almost all situations – I highlight my Bible verses with different colors for different topics, I highlight my notes in statistics with different colors (depending on if it is a definition, formula, or helpful tid-bit), and now, I have even begun to color-coat my lists and calendars. All school times are blue, all free times are purple, all work times are green, all social activities are red, and the list goes on. This allows me to “speed-read” through my calendar by simply glancing  at it and immediately knowing “School Monday afternoon” without knowing the specific time if I just want a basic idea. And the most fun part? You can go crazy with those colors!

4.) Paper Notes
So, in our technological world, paper notes seem useless, pointless, and basically ancient. However, I have found making lists on paper, categorizing the items, and then being able to physically cross items off my list when I have finished them creates a rather soothing feeling and a sense of accomplishment which helps relieve stress. I know it may sound weird, but all you gotta do is try it.

5.) Labeling
Labeling is one of the simplest yet most helpful things you can do to help you stay organized. And like with the colors, you can feel free to go crazy with the labels! Label your folders, label your notebooks, label your boxes, label your bags, label your lists, etc. And don’t think you have to label the way others do. I have found that sometimes, labeling things literally helps my sanity (“school”, “crafts”, “statistics”, etc.), but other times labeling things with silly or unique names becomes a kind of stress relief (“Creative Juices” for crafts box; “Death of Me” for statistics; ” etc.) So, don’t feel restrained or boxed in. After all, you may have no control over what you learn in math (or even if you have to do it), but when it’s in your house, you have complete control over what you want to call it.

6.) Prioritizing
Priorities. Simple enough. Not really, though, if I’m being honest. Often times, I find myself prioritizing things *cough-cough-school-assignments-cough-cough* based on what I “want” to or what I “feel” like doing. However, lately I have been prioritizing things based on “need”. Now, I know this sounds basic and kinda lame, but here’s the thing. When I have math due Monday, a speech due Wednesday, and a paper due Friday, my first instinct is to work on the speech or paper because I prefer that over math, and seeing as I still have time to do math before Monday’s class, I think: Well, I am not procrastinating because it all has to be done by the end of this week, and I am still working on school and what I am technically “supposed” to be doing, so… BUT. NO. Because, priorities. So, let’s say Math is due Monday. Blot everything else out and do math until it is done, making sure to prepare adequately for your class/test. Once your math class on Monday is finished, guess what? Now, you can tackle your speech assignment due Wednesday and so one. Kind of like baby steps. Accomplishing one thing at a time instead of trying to do a little bit of everything and rushing to accomplish it all because you prioritized, but you prioritized completely wrong.

7.) Family Planning Nights
This is something my family has been doing for a few years now as my academic, social, athletic, and work life has expanded to include a wider variety of activities and times. Basically for this tip, set aside 30 minutes to 1 hour on any one day of the week to sit down as a family to go over all of your schedules for that week, making sure to make this meeting as regular as possible and on the same day – though definitely feel free to experiment until you find a day and time that works for you more often than not. We usually do it Sunday evenings, simply because we consider that time as the commencement of the new week, though each family is understandably different.

Alrightie, folks! Hopefully that answered your question adequately. I have a long day at work tomorrow, though, so that’s gonna be a wrap! I hope y’all enjoyed reading this post and found at least some of the ideas and information helpful and encouraging.

See you on my next post!

Comment below about how you organize your busy life.
Have you tried any of these ideas before?
If so, which ones? Did you find them helpful?

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8 Replies to “Living On the Edge Without the Added Stress”

  1. I got excited because I do not plan at all, so organization seemed really useful!
    …but, while this is an awesome article, I just…I kinda realized, “I’d still have to plan” and that deflated me a little lol
    But I’m definitely bookmarking it because it is a great article and I know I will definitely needs this (whether I like it or not) in the future! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The few things that don’t need planning are the things I do 😛 I’m gonna be so stressed out when I have to actually start planning lol

        Liked by 1 person

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